Raja Shehadeh finds himself once again on the Orwell Prize longlist:
Occupation Diaries is based on diaries Shehadeh has been keeping since 1967. He told Orwell organizers last year that he’s kept the diaries “as a coping mechanism to help him understand and deal with his emotions, sense of trapped bafflement and anger.” The book covers the period through when Palestine went to the UN to seek recognition last year.
“Israel has had physical control over the area and they use the physical control to change the reality of the place to build roads and buildings, to bomb Gaza,” Shehadeh told Orwell organizers. “This it was able to do because physical control is a strong weapon. Yet Israel has been unable to convince anyone that it’s not occupied territory. Everybody – even America, their biggest ally – speaks about it as illegally occupied territory. Israel’s victory is not total.”
The 12 books on the longlist were chosen from 210 by this year’s judges, Nikita Lalwani, Arifa Akbar, and Baroness Joan Bakewell.
The 11 other longlisted books:
Carmen Bugan Burying the Typewriter (Picador)
Marie Colvin On the Front Line (HarperPress)
Chrystia Freeland Plutocrats (Penguin)
Ben Goldacre Bad Pharma (4th Estate)
Ioan Grillo El Narco (Bloomsbury)
Richard Holloway Leaving Alexandria (Canongate Books)
Pankaj Mishra From the Ruins of the Empire (Allen Lane)
Paul Preston The Spanish Holocaust (HarperPress)
Clive Stafford Smith Injustice (Harvill Secker)
Daniel Trilling Bloody Nasty People (Verso Books)
A. T. Williams A Very British Killing (Jonathan Cape)
The shortlist is set to be announced on April 17.